background img

Rolling with the punches at the Denver Roller Dolls derby bout

posted by:

A couple of Saturdays ago, I, PrincessDIE!, and my husband, Osama bin Skatin, took our children on a family date night. Where did we find good, clean fun?

At the Denver Roller Dolls matchup of the championship-defending Bad Apples and the challenging Green Barrettes. (Disclaimer: children are free, and the Denver Roller Dolls comped us two tickets valued at $20 each.)

Bad Apples vs Green BarrettesI was greeted by Kendra Blood of the Green Barrettes, also the PR babe of the league (she’s put together a fantastic website, and you may also follow the league on Twitter). Kendra arranged for me to interview Primal Rage, the “Most Feared Skater” of the league and blocker for the Green Barrettes’ nemesis, the Bad Apples.

Thanks to my Facebook and Twitter peeps, I had some questions ready.

For instance, I found out that the the practice schedule is pretty intense — 4 regular practices a week for 2 hours each. The season runs January through October.

I found out that Roller Derby does, indeed, serve as an outlet for aggression, and that Primal Rage feels it balances out her real life emotions.

I found out that the one item that makes Primal Rage feel girlie is her fishnet stockings, and the items that make her feel tough are her pads. “Putting on my pads says to me, ‘OK. Now it’s time to go hurt somebody.'”

Denver Roller Derby 1Good thing I interviewed her pre-pads. (Really she couldn’t have been nicer.)

How did Primal Rage come to be a Derby Doll? She was looking for a way to lose weight when her mom found an ad for tryouts. Although she hadn’t been on skates for 14 years and she didn’t know anyone else who was doing roller derby, she went to the tryout and ended up as one of the league’s first members, back in 2005. “I’d always been kind of alternative and fringe, so this suited me well.”

Her advice to skater wannabes? “Don’t compare yourself to other skaters. Just develop your own style.”

Mine would be meek. (And, apparently, I’d have to learn the meaning of the word “fist.”)

Although there was an air of “alternative” and “fringe” we found equal parts of mainstream. Sure, there were the groupies that plopped themselves down on the floor, right on the edge of the rink. If tattoos, piercings and wildly colored hair are still considered alternative, then yes, there was fringe. But there was also a group of frat boys sitting on and around the rinkside “Couch of Doom.” In addition, there were families — lots of them, including our very own Mile High Mama, Gretchen, who attended with her husband and their brood of seven (click to read about her night of Derby).

And compared to other spectator sports? Roller Derby is upclose and personal. There is nothing other than etiquette keeping the fans off the rink. Well, maybe a little fear.

So, what to do if you’d like a slice of the Derby life?

  • The final bout of the season is on October 24, and it’s for the league championship between the Bad Apples and the Shotgun Betties. Click on over for ticket information.
  • The Denver Dolls have qualified for and will compete in the Declaration of Derby November 13-15 in Philly. Support their trip to the City of Sisterly Shove by donating to the Denver Dolls’ travel fund. Or else.
  • Sweet Action Ice Cream is offering a limited edition Denver Roller Doll-inspired ice cream flavor called Black & Blue (vanilla ice cream with fudge and blueberry swirls).
  • See the new movie Whip It, starring Ellen Page (Juno) and directed by Drew Barrymore. Osama and I are planning a date night around it. And the ice cream.
  • Read up on the rules of the game.
  • Finally, just enjoy the fun and power of coming up with your own Derby name.

A final word on Derby names.

They ROCK! Witness these: Dharma Gedden, Fonda Payne, Eva Doom. Even the non-players get in on the act: Announcers Brad Example and Evel Con Evel, Referees Loren Order and Scott Free, and Paramedic Vlad the Repairer.

So take part in this little Mile High Mamas challenge. What would YOUR Derby name be? Take your time if you have to, think about it, and come back to comment.

Or I’ll send Primal Rage after you.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

You may also like
  • comment avatar Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck October 7, 2009

    HOW FUN! That picture of you in classic. We seriously need to plan an event around them next season.

    My Derby name? Crazy Killer Canuck, of course. 😉

  • comment avatar Gretchen White October 7, 2009

    Fantastic, Lori! I loved your write up and your husband’s name is hysterical.

    You are quite the pair.


    Mae Hem

  • comment avatar JoAnn October 7, 2009

    That is awesome! I would have loved to have seen them!

    Your Bone-crushing MHM Sister,


  • comment avatar Lori in Denver October 7, 2009

    These are hysterical! Looks like we’ve got ourselves quite the fierce team.

    Well, in writing, anyway.

  • comment avatar Melissa @ Full Circle October 7, 2009

    A band playin’, sopapilla cookin’, bloggin’ master DERBY GIRL!?

    *My Hero*

    ~Ida Slapter

  • comment avatar Numipub October 7, 2009

    Very innovative way to spend a family evening. I might try it one time.

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver October 7, 2009

    Oh, Melissa, that’s priceless! Ida Too!

  • comment avatar Kendra Blood October 7, 2009

    PrincessDIE – I’m so glad your family enjoyed the bout!

    The reason I had Primal chat with you is because she’s also a mom – we have quite a lot of mothers who play. Earlier this year, some DU students actually created a short documentary called “Rollermama” covering the challenges of being an athlete with our league as well as a parent. You or your readers may enjoy:

    watch Rollermama online

    Thanks again for the write-up, hope to see you on the 24th!

  • comment avatar Brad Example October 8, 2009

    Glad you had a good time at our bout! I should warn you that our final bout is at the Fillmore, which only lets in folks ages 16 and up, but we hope you can still come out!

    — Brad

  • comment avatar Kendra Blood October 9, 2009

    Also, I should mention – I maintain our site, but it was designed by Ryan Lee of Think to Make and developed by KC Tunstan of 525 Creative. They did an amazing job!